Thursday, August 10, 2023

Shipping: Hapag-Lloyd's CEO Sees ‘Green Shoots,’ Says Container Rates Must Rise

From Bloomberg via gCaptain, August 10:

The container shipping industry’s year-long slump shows preliminary signs of turning the corner, though it’s not clear yet if a rebound is sustainable, the chief of Europe’s fourth-biggest carrier said.

“The market is definitely still not strong but I think we see some signs of stabilization,” Hapag-Lloyd AG Chief Executive Officer Rolf Habben Jansen said in an interview. “We’ve seen just a bit of an uptick as we anticipated — now we need to see how long that holds.”

He spoke after the Hamburg, Germany-based company announced that demand was subdued in the first half and confirmed its full-year forecast published in March. The shares were down about 5% in midday trading.

Ocean-cargo companies that haul four-fifths of the world’s merchandise trade brought in windfall profits in 2021 and early 2022 as consumer demand for goods surged, clogging ports and squeezing ship capacity. Hapag-Lloyd, A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S and other carriers have since watched record-high spot rates for containers tumble eightfold from their 2021 peak....